Ultraman (vol. 2) by Eiichi Shimizu, illustrated by Tomohiro Shimoguchi, translated by Joe Yamazaki, English adaptation by Stan!
Volume 1 promised “This is the beginning of a new age” on its intriguing cover page. And yep, did it ever deliver – for oldster-fans delirious with gleeful nostalgia and a brand new generation of young ‘uns lucky to discover this hero-version-2.0! Yes, indeedy, Ultraman is back!
Here, Volume 2 warns, “You’re begging for the truth, but now you’ve seen too much.” Quick warning: since “too much” won’t make sense here without the backstory, be sure not to skip ahead.
As Papa Hayata is still recovering, our hero Shinjiro gets a glimpse into a future he thinks he still has a voice in choosing. [He’s allowed him that moment of innocent youthful folly.] He meets Zetton-aka-Edo, a “survivor of the race that once tried to kill Ultraman.” Back in the day, the one-eyed alien represented “the worst enemy Earth had ever known,” but now he’s one of the greatest minds of the secret Science Special Search Party (SSSP). “We want you to be Ultraman,” he announces to the Shinjiro. What’s a teenager to do?
Meanwhile, beyond the SSSP fortress, aliens are coming out of hiding. Death and destruction make up their m.o. – and “Earthians” are having a tough time defeating the extraterrestrial monsters without superpower back-up. Among the most tenacious is a certain four-eyed groupie-to-a-pop-idol who decides corpses make for good snacking.
For now, Shinjiro agrees to don the exo-suit, but he’s convinced himself he’s not making commitments. Edo, perhaps, knows better … or should that be “too much”?
So back to that cover warning? I’d have to argue that I haven’t seen nearly enough! Sheesh, I can hardly wait for Volume 3 – and 4 and 5 and 6 and 19 and 37 and 49 and so on and on and on – to behold in my impatient hands! Patience just ain’t a virtue I’ve acquired in old age!
Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2013 (Japan), 2015 (United States)
© Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi / Tsuburaya Prod.
Original Japanese edition published by Hero’s Inc.